US unable to calm down Israel on Iran talks

US unable to calm down Israel on Iran talks
Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:17:01

US Secretary of State John Kerry has sought to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Obama administration would not drop its guard in the newly invigorated nuclear talks with Iran.

During stops in Paris and London this week, Secretary of State John Kerry found himself insisting that the United States was not facing a growing rift with oil-rich Saudi Arabia, whose emissaries have described strains over American policy on Egypt, Iran and Syria.

And during a stop in Rome, Kerry’s comments appeared to do little to persuade Netanyahu, whose demands that Iran dismantle its peaceful nuclear program are tougher than any compromise that the United States and other Western countries seem prepared to explore as they seek a deal with Iran’s new president.

“President Obama has said a number of times, and I reiterate today, no deal is better than a bad deal,” he said on Wednesday as he tried to reassure Netanyahu that the United States was taking a sober view of the possibility of a nuclear breakthrough with Iran.

“But if this can be solved satisfactorily, diplomatically, it is clearly better for everyone,” Kerry added before beginning a seven-hour meeting with the Israeli prime minister at the residence of the American ambassador. “And we are looking for an opportunity to be able to do that.”

Iran has repeatedly said it wants nuclear program for peaceful purposes and expects the world community to recognize Iranians’ rights to acquire nuclear energy.

American officials did not publicly acknowledge that “rights” of Iran for peaceful nuclear program in talks with Iranian officials in Geneva last week, but it is clear that the United States and other world powers are willing to explore a deal that is far less stringent than the one Netanyahu proposed.

The disagreements between the United States and Israel will not be easy to finesse. The United States and other world powers are scheduled to resume talks with Iran in Geneva on Nov. 7.


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